Sometimes there comes a moment when you understand that no matter how hard you try, something is just going wrong. You have optimized all the meta tags on your site, taken care of internal linking and sitemaps but still your positions in Google are staying the same if not dropping.
When it happens, it’s important to step back for a while and think again. In this post I have 5 suggestions for you. By following these tips you may find some interesting things on your site and by taking SEO optimization even further, you have good chances to see your site positions increase. So follow the points I’ve described here as each of these things is either a potential rankings killer or a good opportunity for further optimization.
- Duplicate content issues. A site faces them when there are many full or partial duplicates of the pages. Most common examples are the homepage available with and without /home, index.php (html, htm, etc.); sorting and filtering pages with parameters like ?sortby=, ?refinement= and many others; product pages available with and without category paths.
Duplicate URLs minimize a site ranking potential. What is more, having many unneeded pages decreases google crawl rate and increases the number of pages that are found in Google supplemental index. Thus finding and solving duplicate content issues will have a positive effect on site rankings.
- Self-cannibalization. This means having two or more pages targeting the same keywords. Those pages may not be duplicates, quite on the contrary – they may have unique content, meta data but… the same keywords. The problem is that Google tends to rank only one page per domain for one keyword, and your pages which are relevant to a particular query will compete with each other. This may result in ranking on 7-10 position while having a single page for this query would help you to be in top 3. I saw situations when removing (redirecting or repurposing) one of the pages helped to gain higher rankings for another.
- Wrong directives in robots.txt. It’s a good idea to check your robots.txt from time to time. Sometimes pages fail to rank just because you have said Google not to index them in robots.txt. Sometimes the whole site may become de-indexed because of a seemingly minor mistake in this important file.
- Not optimized images. There are two ways in which the pictures on your site may be optimized.
First of all, images size is important since overall page speed time is a Google ranking factor. Compress pictures to the minimum size which is possible without losing the quality.
Secondly, don’t forget to add relevant alt tags and titles to your pictures. What is more, the images names should be descriptive and keyword-rich. All these factors will increase the chances for you to get traffic from Google Images.
- Not optimized PDF files. Many sites have PDF files, e.g. user guides, programs overviews, various product attachments, etc. But most webmasters just ignore this goldmine of SEO optimization.
So how PDF files can be improved in terms of SEO? They also contain important meda data like Title, Subject and keywords. Fill in these fields with relevant information as well as add Author and alt tags to the images found in your files. Wait for some time and you will see that organic traffic to your PDF files will gradually increase.
Small steps lead o big wins, so nothing should be neglected when it comes to SEO optimization, even if it seems not so important. I hope the tips in this post will help you to succeed in site optimization even more.
Author: Kristina Azarenko
About the author:
Kristina pays careful attention to the latest marketing trends while developing detailed strategies for site performance improvement. She is a marketing manager and SEO specialist at Amasty, a company that develops professional Magento extensions which make the lives of Magento store owners easier.